Eps 86: Cheryl Erwin Discusses the Challenges and Joy of Single Parenting with Positive Discipline

Today’s guest is Cheryl Erwin, a therapist and parenting educator who began teaching parenting after her marriage broke down. We are discussing single parenting today. Join us! 

What you’ll hear in this episode:

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  • The biggest challenges facing single parenting – finances, housing, misconceptions/stereotypes

  • Asking for help as a single parent

  • Making time for special time and relationship building when you’re outnumbered

  • Using connection to build resilience

  • Self-care and self-compassion after divorce and separation

  • Finding joy vs creating joy – finding happy after separation

  • The blessings and gifts of being a single parent

  • The two kinds of special time

  • The power of routine in single parenthood

  • The value of spontaneity and choosing into lightness

  • Lessons in delayed gratification, hard work and problem solving

  • Learning to grow from mistakes

  • Positive discipline as a single parenting tool

  • Learning to let go after raising kids as a single parent

  • Strength that comes from adversity – a gift of single parenthood

  • Choosing to go high when others go low – child-centered co-parenting

  • Being honest about co-parenting challenge while still being respectful and giving space for relationships to be maintained

  • Single parenting by numbers – 70% of American kids spend some of their time in a single parent household

  • Step parents as blessings to your children

  • The importance of facilitating communication between parents and children during the other parent’s parenting times


What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

To take each day as it comes and look for what’s right about it not what’s wrong with it and to not be afraid of risk – I’ve never been a good risk taker but as a single mom I learned I have to take some. As someone who now travels the world teaching positive discipline I’ve gotten comfortable with getting on planes and flying off to Egypt by myself when I don’t know anybody there and some of the greatest joy and blessings of my life have been when I found the joy and courage to take an appropriate risk. You don’t have to fly to China or Egypt to do that. You can do it right in your own backyard. Certainly the single parents who are listening know that life can be risky on a pretty regular basis and being able to embrace that and learn the skills you need to be able to do that well will bring you joy in your kids, joy in your grandparents and joy in your own life. At the end of it, my son goes off into the horizon and I’m left with my life and what I make of it and I’m trying to do something with my life that I can be proud of and that’s what joyful courage means to me. It’s taken me all of these 60 years to figure that out.


Positive Discipline for Single Parents

Where to find Cheryl:

Website l Facebook



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